Pinkel Tells of Sadness, Frustration
COLUMBIA - Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel faced reporters Monday, telling of his personal disappointment following his arrest for driving while intoxicated last Wednesday. Pinkel spoke for about ten minutes from his attorney's office across from the Boone County Courthouse.
Pinkel said, "I'm 59 years old... I can't ever remember once ever hurting my family, my friends, any team I was associated with as a coach as a player, ever hurting anybody. So, when I did this, this is one of the most devastating things to ever happen to me personally. I've got to live with it."
Pinkel told reporters he watched Saturday's 31-27 win against Texas Tech from the Lake of the Ozarks.
Pinkel said, "I sat in my condo and watched the game there. And it was gut wrenching. Every play was like the last play. It was very very difficult to watch. We just had to win that game. And you know, it took us until 31 seconds left to get it done."
He said he was relieved the team won the game, saying if his players had lost without him on the sidelines, he "would have had to live with that the rest of his life."
Regarding the arrest, Pinkel said he takes full responsibility for his lack of judgement Wednesday night. He said he has hurt a lot of supporters and feels "miserable" about that. Pinkel promised that sort of event would never happen again.
Pinkel said talking to his team and coaches was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do in his life. He said he knew he was in the wrong and had to face up to that with his team.
Pinkel said he only added to a difficult season, "All the things that have happened. All the injures. All the things that have gone down. All the close games. That the problems won't define us, how we deal with it will define who we are and I added to it. I added, you don't do what I did to a team 48 hours before a game. You don't do that." Pinkel added, "Our players always refer to our football team as a family. That comes from them. It doesn't come from me. And so, I love those guys and they've been very very supportive."
Pinkel said he did not watch the video of his arrest. When asked if he has a drinking problem, Pinkel firmly said, "No."